Five of the most active wildfires in the South

Above: Three fires were generating the smoke detected by a satellite on November 27: Rock Mountain, Camp Branch, and Pinnacle Mountain Fires.

The wildfire activity in the southern states has slowed a bit over the last few days. The day before Thanksgiving there were about 4,100 personnel assigned to fires in the area. By Saturday that number had decreased to 3,400.

The smoke generated by fires that has plagued residents for weeks has also diminished considerably. Today’s satellite photo, above, only shows three fires that are creating enough smoke to be seen from hundreds of miles overhead. These are the Rock Mountain (Georgia and North Carolina), Camp Branch (North Carolina), and Pinnacle Mountain Fires (South Carolina).

Just five fires in the Southern Geographic Area reported size increases on Saturday — a major change from recent weeks.

Rock Mountain Fire

The Rock Mountain Fire in Georgia and North Carolina grew by 2,578 acres in the last 48 hours and now has covered 20,647 acres, which is considered huge in this part of the country. It has spread to within 4 miles of Otto, NC and 4 miles of Dillard, GA. The fire was mapped Saturday by Colorado’s MultiMission Aircraft. Firefighters reported active surface spread in hardwood leaf litter in all directions, aspects and elevations on Saturday. Where it was not impacted by suppression it spread for half a mile. About 130 structures are threatened.

Camp Branch Fire

The 1,483-acre Camp Branch Fire is 9 miles west of Franklin, NC, an increase of 120 acres over the previous report. About 113 personnel are assigned to this fire which currently threatens 140 structures. On Saturday firefighters successfully conducted burnout operations on the northwest and southeast sides.

Pinnacle Mountain Fire

The Pinnacle Mountain Fire in Table Rock State Park added 217 acres Saturday to bring the total up to 9,147 acres. It is in northwest South Carolina 9 miles south of Brevard, North Carolina. The incident management team reports that 255 personnel are assigned and 1,133 structures are threatened. A burnout operation on Saturday brought the perimeter to the containment lines on the west and north sides of the fire.

map Rock Mountain, Camp Branch, and Pinnacle Mountain Fires
Map showing the perimeters of the Rock Mountain, Camp Branch, and Pinnacle Mountain Fires.

OTHER FIRES

Clear Creek Fire

The Clear Creek Fire is 7 miles northwest of Marion, NC. I has burned 2,986 acres, an increase of 363 acres. About 352 structures are reported to be threatened. The fire is staffed by 489 personnel.

Mount Pleasant Fire

The Mount Pleasant Fire, 9 miles west of Buena Vista, Virginia has blackened 11,200 acres, an increase of 200. High humidity Friday night aided suppression efforts, but that was followed by strong winds on Saturday. Area road and trail closures, including part of the Appalachian Trail, are in effect. The fire has burned across the Appalachian Trail between Road 507 and Cow Camp Gap. The increase in acreage was the result of a large burnout operation on Saturday.

For the latest articles at Wildfire Today about how smoke from the wildfires is affecting various locations in the South, check out the articles tagged “smoke”.

Progress made on some wildfires in the South, while others still grow

Above: Firefighters operate leaf blowers on the Chestnut Knob Fire. The fire is 6 miles south of Morganton, NC and at the last report grew by 9 acres. Undated and  uncredited InciWeb photo.

While several large fires in the southern states are still actively spreading, firefighters have made progress on dozens of others.

On Monday the Southern Geographic Area reported 52 large uncontained fires, for a total of 133,146 acres. There were 185 new fires of all sizes for 1,477 acres; most of those were suppressed while still small. That was considered “moderate” initial attack activity.

Firefighting resources assigned in the South:

  • 78 aircraft
  • 83 hand crews
  • 1,011 pieces of equipment
  • 4,476 personnel
map wildfires south
Map showing the location of some of the large fires in the southern states. The red dots represent heat detected by a satellite at 2:22 am November 21, 2016.

On Sunday evening four fires reported 24-hour growth of more than 100 acres:

Rock Mountain Fire

Map Rock Mountain Fire
Map of the perimeter of the Rock Mountain Fire at 6 p.m. ET November 20, 2016.

The Rock Mountain Fire that started about 10 miles northwest of Clayton Georgia has spread north into North Carolina. At the last report it had burned 11,287 acres, an increase of 862 acres. On Sunday it was very active, moving through the hardwood leaf litter in all directions at a rate of about one mile each day. Evacuations are still in place for Dream Catcher Cove north of Tate City, Georgia.

On Saturday strong winds pushed the blaze across the Appalachian Trail on the north end of the fire. Winds blowing leaves still falling from trees are creating problems for firefighters, covering existing firelines and causing some areas to re-burn.

East Miller Cove

The East Miller Cove Fire is just east of Walland, Tennessee, 16 miles south of Knoxville. On Sunday evening the incident management team reported it had burned 1,492 acres, an increase of 1,292 acres, threatening 100 structures north of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Big Branch

The Big Branch Fire is in southeast Kentucky three miles south of Roxana and five miles northeast of Cumberland. It has burned 625 acres, an increase of 175 acres.

Oakwood 1 Fire

This fire is in Arkansas, listed at 468 acres, an increase of 278. No other information is available.

Chestnut Knob Fire
A firefighter on the Chestnut Knob Fire. InciWeb.

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For the latest articles at Wildfire Today about how smoke from the wildfires is affecting various locations in the South, check out the articles tagged “smoke”.

Update on six wildfires in the South, November 16, 2016

Above: The map shows the locations of some of the larger wildfires currently burning in Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia.

Firefighters continue to battle dozens of fires in the southern United States while the residents in the area try to figure out how to live with the smoke.

Fire managers are hoping for a break in the weeks-long dry period, but through Friday at least they should expect more of the same. However there is a chance for rain on Saturday.

Here we will look at six of the larger fires in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Party Rock Fire

map Party Rock Fire
Perimeter of the Party Rock Fire in North Carolina, 3 a.m. ET November 16, 2016.

The Party Rock Fire has been burning just north of Lake Lure, North Carolina since November 5. It has blackened 4,480 acres, an increase of 736 acres, and forced evacuations at Bat Cave and residences on the east side of Hwy 9. In recent days it has been most active on the north and southwest sides.

Rock Mountain Fire

map Rock Mountain Fire Boteler Fire
Perimeters of the Boteler Fire in NC at 11:45 p.m. ET November 15, 2016, and the Rock Mountain Fire in GA at 2 a.m. ET November 16, 2016.

The Rock Mountain Fire has burned 6,747 acres in the northeast corner of Georgia, an increase of 1,263 acres over the previous 24 hours primarily on the northeast and west sides. The Type 1 Incident Management Team reports that 75 structures are threatened, but none have been destroyed.

Continue reading “Update on six wildfires in the South, November 16, 2016”

Information and maps of five wildfires in Georgia and North Carolina, Nov. 14, 2016

Above: The map shows the location of some of the larger wildfires currently burning in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

There are still dozens of wildfires burning in the southern United States, primarily in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Firefighters have slowed the progress of many of them but others are still spreading. The weather on Sunday was not quite as conducive to extreme fire behavior, but most areas are still extremely dry and have not had significant precipitation in weeks.

The weather forecast for the Asheville, NC area through Saturday, November 12, calls for more of the same weather — moderate winds, daily high temperatures in the 60s, and relative humidities in the 80s at night and the 30s in the afternoon.

Below are some statistics for the active fires in the Southern Geographic Area:

  • 73 active fires
  • 109,563 cumulative acres
  • 103 hand crews assigned
  • 242 engines
  • 19 helicopters
  • 3,492 personnel

Here is a look at five of the more active blazes:

Party Rock Fire

map party rock fire
Map of the perimeter of the Party Rock Fire at 11 p.m. ET November 13, 2016.

The Party Rock Fire has been burning just north of Lake Lure, North Carolina since November 5. It has blackened 3,457 acres and required evacuations in the Chimney Rock community. On Saturday and Sunday it grew by 574 acres, with most of the additional acres being on the southwest and northwest sides.

Tellico Fire

map Tellico Fire
Map of the perimeter of the Tellico Fire at 11 p.m. ET November 13, 2016.

The Tellico Fire three miles south of Almond, North Carolina expanded by 3,791 acres over the weekend and now stretches across 13,676 acres after merging with another fire, the Ferebee Fire. It spotted across the Little Tennessee River to the east, but that spot was contained at about 100 acres. U.S. Highway 19 on the west side of the fire was closed on Sunday.

Continue reading “Information and maps of five wildfires in Georgia and North Carolina, Nov. 14, 2016”